I kind of feel like an idiot now.
All of that screaming and frustration and thoughts of reverse adoption, all of it virtually eliminated by a stupid $3 Cars nightlight. The night after I wrote my last post I took Spenser to the store to pick out a night light. He found a cheap Cars one that he liked and he also tried to talk me into buying a Tangled one for Holly which I thought was cute. He also wanted to get a matching flashlight (which he already has somewhere but I didn’t want to mention and get him thinking about finding) but I talked him out of it with a rather shoddy excuse that he might burn his eye with it at night.
So that night when it was time for him to go to bed, we put the night light in and turned it on and I chatted with him for a bit and he zonked out. The next morning when he came zipping out of his room he was holding the night light like it was his new best friend. We haven’t had a problem with him at bedtime since. He still has his late evening tantrum around 7:30 (which he’s had since he was an infant), but that’s easily diffused by ignoring him and putting the TV up to it’s top volume.
He’s also sleeping in a new bed now as well. Holly’s been in a toddler bed for a while because he crib was an old hand-me-down that was probably on most recall lists from the 70s but she was an easy baby who always slept right in the middle and never had trouble. Spenser had a new crib that was huge and fully decked out that he was in no hurry to leave behind. When Holly got her new bed we took the side walls off of Spenser’s crib and sort of made it a toddler bed. We were finally able to get him out of it when he cracked one of the legs from throwing a tantrum in it.
He helped me take it apart and move it to the basement which made him very happy. Instead of moving to his big bed though he was happy to sleep on his crib mattress on the floor like a tiny hobo. Now he’s finally in a big bed that used to be my sister’s husband’s. It’s a little tall for my taste as it has several drawers underneath and I have this horrible vision of Spenser doing his own version of Jackass acrobatics off of it, but he likes sleeping in it and we’ve just locked his room during the few days a week he’s home during the day.
The next issue to address is his “sweating” at night. This is what he calls it when he pees all over himself in the middle of the night. Since he’s only 3 this isn’t really a problem and he’s a VERY deep sleeper (like I used to be before kids) and just hasn’t built up the bladder muscles. But man, it sucks logistically having to clean him up every night in the middle of the night. I think we’re probably going to switch to the nighttime Pull-Up things for now and see how that works out. We’ve cut out drinks after dinner and we’ve tried waking him up in the middle of the night to no avail. It will be interesting in a couple of weeks when we go on vacation and he’ll be in a hotel bed. Though he’s stayed at my parents’ house and my sister’s house over night several times without issues. I wonder if he just doesn’t sleep as well away from home and is more aware of when he has to go to the bathroom.
I imagine this will be a continuing sage. But, hey, for now, no more bedtime standoffs.